Congressmen give PDAF the boot
by FFE PH News staff
House Bill 2630, or the 2014 General Appropriations Act, has just been approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday after two months of hearings and debates. 219 members voted for the bill that cut out the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allotment for lawmakers while 22 voted against it.
Those who voted against the bill demanded that the Office of the president itemise its lump-sum fund, which is estimated to reach Php964 billion.
The 2014 budget minus the PDAF amounts to Php2.268-trillion. The House realigned the Php25.2 billion PDAF and Php200 million Office of the vice president’s lump-sum fund to at least six government agencies: the Department of Health, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Labour and Employment, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Public Works and Highways.
The funds will be used for construction, rehabilitation of infrastructure, crisis and hospitalisation assistance, employment projects, scholarship and financial assistance to students.
The PDAF realignment was implemented after President Aquino abolished the funds following the pork barrel scam.
Chairman of the appropriations committee and Davao representative Isidro Ungab said ‘Almost all of the lawmakers have submitted their proposed projects, very few did not submit.’ The chairman also said most of the projects recommended by congressmen for the realigned funds were infrastructure.
The House is set to forward the approved budget bill to the Senate today. Once the Senate passes the bill, a bicameral committee will reconcile the two versions of the bills.